Google has launched a new marketing initiative in the UK aimed at people starting new businesses. But unlike the tech geekery of Google’s usual world, this is possibly the most simplistic guide to starting a business I’ve ever read. Startupdonut.co.uk – sponsored solely by Google – contains phrases like “Most businesses now use information technology (IT)”. Yes, it’s really that basic. So, fair enough, there are plenty of people out there who need hand-holding in this brave new world. However, what is most interesting is that despite one or two discrete mentioned of “open source” there is barely a mention of Microsoft or Windows. I counted three, and one from a user in a forum. Here’s their advice on “Buying IT for your new business”:
Most start-ups don’t need hugely sophisticated IT. Typically, a mid-range desktop PC (ie computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, basic office software) is sufficient. For a reliable solution, budget for £500-£600 and maybe £80 for a printer. A reasonable laptop will cost £400-£500. Specialist software provides additional cost. If you’re concerned with how stylish your PC looks or want a cutting edge model, then you’ll have to pay for it, but you need to consider the impact it will have on your start-up budget.
Er, how about, different versions of Windows Vista? Or how about a mention of the Apple Mac maybe, just for balance? Nope, this guide just hates mentioning Google competitors.
What is even odder is that where it mentions, for instance, speadsheets it says “even Microsoft Excel” but then doesn’t mention Google Docs.
“Basic accounting software is more affordable than ever (budget £100-£180 inc VAT) and many deals come with free support. You could even set up a few simple pages in popular spreadsheet software, such as Microsoft Excel.”
The guide, written by agency BHP Info Solutions has done their ‘let’s make this as plain and obvious as possible’ job almost too well. Here’s their advice on researching a PC purchase:
“The cheapest IT deals are usually to be found online, but finding them could be a problem if you don’t have internet access.” [Our emphasis]
Yes, indeed, that could well be a problem. So how did the reader find Startupdonut.co.uk in the first place ? Ah, on their Android phone I guess.